Wichita State vs. Kansas State College Basketball Odds, Picks: Shockers to Wake Up on Road
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Ricky Council IV (Wichita State)
- While Kansas State football is on the minds of most Wildcats fans, the hoops team hosts Wichita State on Saturday.
- The Shockers have three losses already this season, while the Wildcats have earned some quality wins.
- Can the Shockers keep it close? Ky McKeon breaks it all down.
Wichita State vs. Kansas State Odds
|Wichita State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Kansas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Shockers already have three losses this season — including one to Alcorn State — while the Wildcats are looking to bounce back after falling to Butler in the Big East-Big 12 Battle earlier this week.
Dive in below for a full preview and to find out how I’m betting this game.
Wichita has been a tough team to get a pulse on this season, having had mixed results against a sneaky difficult schedule.
An early home loss to Alcorn State sent Shockers fans into a panic, but then subsequent wins against Richmond and Grand Canyon showed this team might still have some juice.
Wichita took Missouri to overtime in its last outing, but fell short of notching two straight victories. It was just the third time all season Wichita had eclipsed the 1.00 point per possession mark.
As has usually been the case under third-year head coach Isaac Brown, the Shockers hang their hats on defense — they are an incredibly physical and scrappy team.
Shooting has been a major weakness for the Shockers on the offensive end. They’re hitting just 28.9% of their long-ball tries this year, though a few select players are skewing that stat.
Senior leader Craig Porter Jr., Georgia transfer Jaykwon Walton and SE Louisiana transfer Gus Okafor are all hitting over 37% of their 3-point attempts this year, which can make for a potent lineup when combined with stretch big Kenny Pohto and Alabama newcomer James Rojas.
The talent and potential is there for Wichita to have a solid offense — we just haven’t seen it consistently.
Kansas State will be quite the test for the Shockers on this end. The Wildcats have been excellent defensively this year and have forced the 15th-highest turnover rate in the country.
Ball security from Porter — among others — will be a top priority.
A twin-tower frontcourt of David N’Guessan and Nae’Qwan Tomlin gives the ‘Cats ample shot blocking and paint protection, but both bigs can be prone to fouling.
Wichita was able to take advantage of a foul-happy Tarleton State squad last weekend, converting 24-of-29 free-throw attempts en route to a comfortable win.
K-State has been better than expected this season, notching tough neutral-floor wins over Rhode Island, Nevada and LSU.
That success has been driven by the superb play of senior point guard Markquis Nowell and the rediscovered excellence of Keyontae Johnson, whose frightening collapse back on December 12, 2020 caused many to wonder if he’d ever play basketball again.
Johnson was the SEC Preseason Player of the Year that season, and he’s picked up right where he left off, averaging 18.0 points and grabbing 6.9 rebounds per game.
The ’Cats have been good-not-great on the offensive end. The shooting and individual play from its two stars has been solid, but turnovers have plagued K-State.
Essentially everyone on the team not named Nowell has struggled with ball security.
Thankfully, Wichita has yet to make opponents pay for sloppy ball handling; the Shockers rank 312th in forced turnover rate. The Shockers play sound defense, don’t gamble and let their perimeter length bother shooters and drivers.
While Wichita ranks highly in 3-point percentage allowed (25.8%, 20th in nation), that stat is often luck-driven. Certain teams are indeed superior at closing out on opponents and forcing misses, but the better stat to look at is 3-point attempt rate allowed.
In that area, Wichita lags behind. The Shockers are just 289th nationally in 3-point attempt rate allowed, meaning they allow their opponents to attempt a high rate of outside shots — that’s usually a bad thing.
K-State has plenty of shooters on its roster and can take advantage of sloppy close-outs if Wichita starts to overplay. Johnson and Nowell can both put the ball on the deck, and Tomlin is one of the most athletic players in the country.
But it’s likely that Wichita stays sound defensively and makes K-State beat it with jumpers.
K-State has historically had a strong home court, though the ‘Cats have not been stellar in Manhattan from an ATS perspective over the past few seasons.
KenPom ranks K-State 41st in his home-court advantage metric. In a late-night Saturday contest following a morning in which the K-State football team plays a Big 12 Championship game in Arlington against TCU, it’s possible the home crowd isn’t as robust as usual.
Wichita State vs. Kansas State Betting Pick
Wichita is a tough underdog due to its physical nature and ability to turn games into a war.
Brown is 7-4 ATS as an away underdog, and this K-State team might not have the typical home crowd that has made the Octagon of Doom famous.
The Shockers are underperforming their talent on the offensive end, so perhaps they wake up in a short travel matchup against an in-state opponent.
Take Wichita with the points.